After a night in the old Roman-German city Augsburg, we had set course to the river Altmühl. The rain was pouring down from a dark sky, but in spite of that we needed a good, well-served German beer. We had not tried to cross west of Munich before, on the small roads through Bavaria. Where could we get a well-poured German beer? We had a sudden urge to get away from the dreary gray clouds and the all-day rain.


We took shelter under some huge trees by the roadside and got out the excellent guide of the South German family breweries. We typed Brauerei Gasthof Schneider Essing, onto the GPS. The hotel looked just right in the brochure and we had to go there.. Through vast forests, over dark hills, through wide valleys, along winding roads that looked like an eel on a wet lawn. All in all, a thrilling ride, where the gear pedal was really put to work.

The GPS kept us on the right track, otherwise we would never have found the little town of Essing. Signposts down there in Bavaria are not entirely excellent. The landmark for Essing, is a backdrop of romantically-positioned rocks, which stick their noses high into the clouds, actually making the town a bit hard to find. The scenery around the small brewery hotel is lush and beautiful, and on the other side of town, you find the river Altmühl, which continues towards the town of Kelheim, culminating in the great river Danube.


When you have been culturally active for several days, it is important to take a breather, and let all the new knowledge settle, like the yeast you find at the bottom of a good German Weissbeer, or a Belgian Witbier. We stood and looked out over the woods for a few minutes, when a sudden yet familiar impulse came creeping over the treetops. Shouldn’t we have a beer? As we looked down over the valley, we could hear pumping sounds coming from the little brewery down there. After we found our way down to this flowing source of beer, the Hotel Mutter, Mrs. Schneider, opened the garage for us, so we could put the motorbikes to bed.


If you are nervous that the mountains might suddenly begin to collapse, then Essing not a place you will be staying in, for too long. If you are the brave type who wants to challenge boundaries, you can soothe any anxiety with some of the good beer brew master Josef Schneider makes. We were relieved of 100 Euros and then took the keys to a cosy little apartment. On the way down through the town we’d spotted a small castle on top of the rocks. We wanted to it see before we sat down at the bar, to let the beer take control of the rest of the day.

We sat out in the hotel garden, with views across the Altmühl river, and suddenly, time stands still in Essing. The Cuckoo in the clock fell dead on the floor, and after we heard the eerie cadence of its final death gasp, we got on with choosing the beers. On the platter that arrived, there were four different types, Pils, Dunkel, März and Heller Bock. The beer is reasonably cheap here, (2.5 Euros) so you don’t need to blow your entire holiday budget if you feel compelled to throw yourself headlong into tasting all four varieties. Even at the first sip of the ordinary pilsner, it was as though it couldn’t get much better. Dinner at the Schneider, consisted of wild pigs neck, chanterelles and thyme potatoes. We ordered the Dunkel beer, which went perfect with the food.

As a beer enthusiast, you are obligated to taste all four beer types. Next morning, I arrived at the conclusion, that the best beer was the luxury März. It's not difficult to compare the 4 beers against each other, but it can get hard to choose one, when everything you tasted was both of a certain quality, and something you really liked. The März is a superb product of the brew master's hand. Had I been in the car, I had definitely packed a few boxes into the trunk, but that’s how it is, in Essing.

As I said, Essing a city where time stands still. Monday throughout the year. Monday's big event was when two guys arrived in leather pants, dressed in Alpine hats and stockings. These guys were mounted on two sweaty thoroughbreds. The horses were given two buckets of water each, the brave riders were to have two beers together.

If you want to get away from everyday hustle and bustle, grab an overnight stay in Essing with some good beer. If you have room in your luggage, you can purchase a pack of good beer and a unique alcohol product, as Joseph Schneider is enthusiastic about his beer.


Altmühlgasse 10, 93343 Essing, Germany


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